Friday, October 9, 2015

Working, Taking Care of Oldies and Having Fun with Babies

Himeji Castle, The White Castle
I have work today but no class. All classes from first year to third year have some "social awareness" activities. They do these things every year around this time.

So what do they do exactly?

The first year students are spending time with old people. They'll be talking with them and conducting interviews. Maybe they'll ask how's life as an old person. They'll also be playing cards and other board games. Then, they'll be presenting a traditional dance. It's like spending a day in a nursing home and making sure the oldies have fun.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Good and the Not-So Good of Being an ALT

somewhere in Okayama
Just like any other job, being an ALT has its good sides and not-so good sides.

If you're thinking of working as an ALT, think whether the following pros outweigh the cons.

The Good

1. The nature of work is easy.

Being an ALT is the easiest job I ever had. I just prepare fun activities and do them in class. Then there times when all I have to do is read whatever's in the textbook. I'm not saying that being an ALT is a no-brainer. You still need to work, think and be creative. But compare with other jobs, being an ALT has less tasks and less responsibilities. Just plan lesson lessons, teach and speak in English. Repeat until the school year finish.

2. You'll have lots of time off and vacation

I have around 60 days of time off in a year- 2 weeks of spring break, 2 weeks of winter break and almost 4 weeks of summer break. That's really plenty of time to travel and do nothing. But that's not all. At work everyday, I still have plenty of free time. This blog started because of free time. Then the longer I work as an ALT, the less time I need to prepare. The less time I need to prepare, the more time I have. On average, I only use 4-5 hours in school for actual ALT work. With the remaining time, I blog, I hang out with students and I just read random stuff on the internet. Some ALT's use this free time to study Japanese. I was like that until I gave up on Japanese.

Monday, October 5, 2015

How to Pray in Shinto Shrines

Before Sunset at Miyajima Island 
If the Catholics have a pattern for praying the rosary, Shinto also has a pattern in praying.
Praying in Shinto shrines is so much simpler and so much shorter.

Here's how: 

1. Throw a coin in the box in the offeroty box.
    You can throw any amount.
2. Ring the long rope hanging in front of the box.
    This is a means to call the gods of the shrine.
 3. Deeply bow 2 times.
4. Clap your hands 2 times.
5. PRAY or make a wish.
6. Deeply bow once then leave.

That's it. It doesn't take more than 10 minutes. 
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